Ukrainian sports lawyer Yuriy Yurchenko has filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) seeking to overturn last month’s decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) permitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate at the Paris 2024 Olympics as neutral athletes this summer.
The appeal asks the CAS to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in any capacity at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Additionally, it argues that the IOC should prohibit Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing under their nation’s flags for life. The appeal also requests that Russian and Belarusian fans be banned from attending international competitions for life.
“If they were banned and suspended for violating anti-doping rules, then the international rules and borders of Ukraine and their violations are no less important and valuable than the fight against doping sports,” Yurchenko wrote. However, Russian athletes were still allowed to compete under a neutral flag at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after their country was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Ukrainian appeal concludes by requesting a sole arbitrator for the case.
This week, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine announced that it was no longer accepting IOC Solidarity Fund payments due to Russian and Belarusian athletes’ inclusion in some international competitions. The IOC Solidarity Fund was established by the IOC Executive Committee along with the European Olympic Committee to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian Olympic community following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022.
“Thanks to the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Finance, the athletes are fully provided for next year,” said Vadim Gutzeit, who runs the NOC of Ukraine. “For the purchase of equipment, equipment, training camps. Therefore, there is no point in this, it is not necessary.”
Last November, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) appealed to the CAS to overturn its indefinite suspension dealt out by the IOC.
The IOC stripped the ROC of funding last October after claiming the organization breached the Olympic charter by absorbing Olympic Councils in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia — four regions that have been illegally annexed from Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing war. The IOC’s executive board determined that move “violated the territorial integrity” of Ukraine’s national Olympic committee (NOC).